Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The rising level of evil



Two stories you should read in tandem.

First, it’s now very clear that Exxon has been spending millions of dollars to prevent public action against a slow-motion catastrophe it itself was well aware was on its way. The company’s own research pointed to global warming as a serious problem almost 40 years ago — but it has gone all out to confuse the issue, basically trying to get itself another few decades of profits at humanity’s expense. The cynicism is remarkable.

Meanwhile, David Roberts has a piece pointing out the McCarthyite tactics the House science committee has been using to persecute and intimidate scientists, especially but not only those working on climate.

If we fail to grapple with climate change in time to avoid catastrophe — which seems ever more likely — it won’t be because we didn’t have the knowledge to realize the problem, or the tools to fix it. It will because of cynicism and greed that, given the stakes, rise to the level of evil.

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